A Discussion on 32 bit and 64 bit

Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby Nightwatch on 09 Dec 2008 18:32

Then it's a very big bad decision that they will certainly come to regret when they see that everthing around them has started turning to 64 bit, and it won't take too long by the way. I'd give it a year or two. Speed of development in computer technology is such that the state of technology doubles itself in around every 18 months at most.

(PS: Is Stalker running alright on 64 bit? )
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby EggChen on 09 Dec 2008 21:01

Stalker runs absolutely fine, but I have to admit I have hardly touched it!!

I integrated Gosuke's sprint animations for the sniper rifles, and did some small tests. Worked fine, but I was only in game for 5 minutes.... I may be going back to it for a bit until I fix this Fallout 3 problem...

One point though, even with 8Gb ram and disabled page file, Stalker still accesses the hard drive :-\

The whole game would fit in RAM, but I still get micro pauses when large groups of entities come online/go offline. It is definately reduced though.
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby Nightwatch on 09 Dec 2008 22:20

*Gb RAM and STALKER still accesses the Hard Drive? That's something. 8-|
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby rockingmtranch on 11 Dec 2008 03:15

What Fallout3 problem Egg?
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby NatVac on 11 Dec 2008 07:21

EggChen wrote:Stalker runs absolutely fine, but I have to admit I have hardly touched it!!

I integrated Gosuke's sprint animations for the sniper rifles, and did some small tests. Worked fine, but I was only in game for 5 minutes.... I may be going back to it for a bit until I fix this Fallout 3 problem...

One point though, even with 8Gb ram and disabled page file, Stalker still accesses the hard drive :-\

The whole game would fit in RAM, but I still get micro pauses when large groups of entities come online/go offline. It is definately reduced though.

There are a couple of things to consider here:

Assuming you've re-enabled precaching: Not everything is precached, so some resources will be loaded when the game needs them. If the resource is large, even if it is in the RAM portion of virtual memory, it will still take time to move it into the game's memory pool.

I don't know about Windows 64's process space allocation. I know it can handle more than 2 GB, but I don't know if there is a default limit. There shouldn't be, but ...

The game also has to recreate the extended objects like NPCs each time they switch online. Offline (server) objects are not much more than name, type and coordinates. Online is the full entity, with inventory, job assignments with paths to walk, etc.

Another contribution is the switch mechanism. It's the camp that serves as the trigger, so coming within switch distance forces the entire camp to switch online at once, plus it iterates through inventory in storage caches. One big example: The bandit base in Dark Valley after you complete the X18 documents quest.

You can tweak this if your system can handle the load by increasing switch_distance (default 150 meters) in gamedata\config\alife.ltx to 1200 or so, but your FPS will drop, the lag will be moved to the front end -- level loads will take a lot longer -- and some battles will be long over before you get there, so expect some autoquests to fail.
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby rockingmtranch on 11 Dec 2008 15:21

If changing the switch distance causes me to miss battles Nat, then it doesn't sound like a good trade. At least to me. :mozilla_smile:
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby EggChen on 11 Dec 2008 22:03

Thanks Natvac, I will probably stick with the switch distance. I prefer playing a part in the gunfights!!

The micro pauses are really not an issue, I only mentioned them out of interest.

I may try checking the prefetch.ltx to ensure that all new meshes and items I have added are included in that prefetch. To be fair when I first got Stalker these pauses were annoying, but manageable, ZRP (plus some of my own character_desc tweaks based on ZRP) brought the problem down considerably, now the improved RAM and processor seem to have "almost" eliminated it.

I'm having another playthrough of Stalker when Nightwatch releases his patch, and I'll probably play my own game again as well. Any word on the next ZRP release?? I'm always keen to see the latest tweaks and fixes that you have come up with. I'm not in anyway suggesting you do, but had you started work on Clear Sky, it may one day have been somewhere near to the game we hoped. You certainly improved SHOC for me, and I thank you again!!

Rocking - I'm having a crash everytime I go indoors that makes the game unplayable. It is quite common, and the theme on forums seems to be multi-core users. The Fallout 3 thread in Other PC games has all the info!! I was enjoying that game as well ](*,)
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby Nightwatch on 11 Dec 2008 23:38

EggChen wrote: ("To NatVac") Any word on the next ZRP release?? I'm always keen to see the latest tweaks and fixes that you have come up with. I'm not in anyway suggesting you do, but had you started work on Clear Sky, it may one day have been somewhere near to the game we hoped. You certainly improved SHOC for me, and I thank you again!!

Exactly the same thought here, too. :salute:

EggChen wrote:I'm having another playthrough of Stalker when Nightwatch releases his patch

:salute:
(it'd be a shame if you didn't play it, after all the immense input you've put into the mod, anyway. :) )
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby rockingmtranch on 12 Dec 2008 00:30

Crashes entering doors? Damn. I sometimes can play for hours and sometimes a few minutes before I get stuttering/freezing issues. Restarting the game sometimes helps/sometimes doesn't. Dang fun game though.
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby ket on 12 Dec 2008 02:41

Setting a higher switch distance isnt a bad thing IMO, it means instead of walking into the middle of a gun battle, you could experience that eerie aftermath when all is deathly silent, smoke settling. The big annoyance to me is that NPC on the other side of the map get triggered into "alert" mode, thats a real pain in the arse and absolutely nothing you can do about it because theres no restriction.
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Re: Hardware and Software Advice - Ask your questions here

Postby NatVac on 22 Dec 2008 15:49

EggChen wrote:Any word on the next ZRP release?? I'm always keen to see the latest tweaks and fixes that you have come up with. I'm not in anyway suggesting you do, but had you started work on Clear Sky, it may one day have been somewhere near to the game we hoped. You certainly improved SHOC for me, and I thank you again!!

EggChen and Nightwatch, any word? How about "#%^&!*" or "~@$*!"? I've been fighting some issues, and while I've solved some problems, others have been reported. I'm currently releasing parts that I know work okay or need some field testing.

One insidious STALKER bug is that you can get an SMapLocation critical error (shows in green in the console) when a stalker is destroyed in a Whirligig (may also happen with other anomalies like Vortex, but I've yet to see it). The error says that the minimap spot is "binded to non-existant object", meaning that the normal cleanup when the stalker body was destroyed didn't happen. This will cause problems later in the game, usually showing in the crash log (if you see one) as just two or three xrGame.dll error lines in a stack trace.

The insidious part is that if you don't see the error in the log when it happens, you might not realize your game is now an impending disaster. You can create the error deliberately by destroying an NPC body with alife():release().

On topic: If a 3D game shows about 50% (or 28%) CPU usage on a quad-core processor, it's probably using only two cores (or just one), unless you see differently on separate CPU graphs.

One issue with software for me is that later software releases doesn't mean better. Later video drivers can cause problems (e.g., some recent drivers don't save settings (ATI) or don't support older hardware (ATI and Nvidia). Later products are bloated with stuff I don't need or want, even when they support what I do want (like Unicode). Add to that the opportunity for new bugs.
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Re:

Postby ket on 01 Jan 2009 17:06

EggChen wrote:OK quick update.....

Windows Vista - Weird, but I am growing to like it. The games organiser is very good, and I love the start menu, open it and type in the name of a program it is there in a split second. No more navigating through the start menu. In fact, I have deleted all new start menu entries, you don't need any.


XP has this function as well - its called "search" :p I've found this magical program can find anything in mere seconds, too!

EggChen wrote:It has its problems, like far too much handholding, but anyone with experience of Windows will find these things and turn them off quickly and easily. I almost have it running like a pretty XP at the moment.


Not all of that "hand holding" can be turned off AFAIK, and that what can is a real pain in the arse, as you have to change permissions and god knows what else. Even the Administrator account on Vista is like a regular user account and your restricted from doing a lot of things. Christ sake MS, an ADMINISTRATOR knows WFT THEY ARE DOING!

EggChen wrote:46 processes though.... I have yet to really start trimming it down, probably because I have not exactly needed to do so yet.


Oh you will. Vista is a bloody bloated resource hog. With proper services optimisation (services.msc) you can get Vista down to a much more palettable 512MB on a clean install instead of its insane 1GB+. (Yes I have tried Vista, hated it. Absolutely terrible OS.) You may have 8GB of RAM, but remember the OS is one of the fundamental components of the system, the lighter the OS, the much quicker its associated applications will run.

EggChen wrote:Also, Vista Home Premium 64bit with Service Pack 1 recognised 8gb ram straight off, which was nice


I would worry if a 64bit OS didn't recognise 8GB RAM off the bat. Its all to do with addressing. A 32bit OS can address up to 4GB memory, this includes system RAM and graphics memory. A 64bit OS on the other hand, can easily address up to 8GB on the same (only extended) principles as a 32bit OS. In total though, if memory serves me right, a 64bit OS has the potential to address up to something like 32GB of memory.


EggChen wrote:64 bit - My only problem so far has been Zone Alarm, they do not support it and do not intend to. So currently running the Windows Firewall while I investigate other options. All other programs have worked perfectly (so far). Where there is no 64 bit mode, they just run in 32 bit no problem.


You will find things such as this very common. A lot of manufacturers do not like any flavour of Vista for reasons far too numerous to mention in a single post.

EggChen wrote:Games - Stalker does not work!! However I am trying again tonight, I think I patched it wrong (it worked before patching). All other games have so far worked, though a few warned of "compatibility issues" on installation, they work fine.

Oh and Stalker was hitting over 200fps when it did work....

Every game is smooth as silk, which brings me to a question... if I enable Vsync and limit FPS to the screen frequency, does that mean the card and processor will not be working as hard? It seems overkill 200fps, when the screen cannot even display that!!


Stalker was more than likely running mega fast because you did not have full dynamic range lighting in use. Without that Stalker even on something like a 2600XT will run at 90FPS+, so certainly no testiment to Vista being a super-fast OS.

It won't do any harm turning vsync on. Your refresh rate will be the limiting factor with vsync on, which I will assume for you is either 60 or 75, so 60 or 75FPS in games will be the cap limit. With vsync on you also will not get any image tearing where the game is running so fast the monitor can't keep up.

EggChen wrote:Noise and temperature from the GTX280 are fine, 40 degrees idle, a tad over 50 when working hard... it is no louder than my old 7800gs, though I cannot call it silent. It is a seriously big card, but I had a good 10cm to spare as my case is massive.


Good temps for stock cooling. You can probably get things running much cooler though, but your probably not a hawrdware-whore gearhead like I am :p

EggChen wrote:Seriously, I may not be online much for a while..... too many games to max out and see in all their glory. I am yet to benchmark it on anything like 3dmark, but in practical situations (gaming) it absolutely nails anything.... OK I did get a stutter once in Crysis, but that may be because I have not had chance to defrag yet (it was when an audio file was accessed).


AFAIK the built-in HDD defrag utility in Vista, while better than in previous versions of Windows, still sucks. Turn the damn thing off for good (probably need services.msc for that) and invest in a copy of diskeeper, absolutely brilliant software and completely unrivaled.

EggChen wrote:Oh, one last thing - I had to ditch my Audigy 2 soundcard, because Vista runs audio in Software mode. Audio does seem very good though, and I understand it may be better in the longrun when developers get to grips with it.


Nope, the software emulation in Vista just outright blows. Always has, always will. I've used £200+ soundcards that sound absolutely beautiful in XP with Vista, and Vista turned those cards into something resembling some POS on-board audio CODEC you would of had back in the early 90s.
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